Cancer centers typically are found at major academic and research institutions. It is their mission to prevent and cure cancers through interdisciplinary programs that combine basic and clinical research, patient treatment and care, prevention and control, and community outreach and education.
The National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers Program recognizes more than 50 such institutions throughout the United States as NCI-designated cancer centers, based on rigorous criteria for scientific excellence and diversity of research approaches to reduce cancer incidence and death.
The NCI program supports three types of cancer centers:
- Comprehensive Cancer Centers conduct programs in all three areas of research: basic research, clinical research, and prevention and control research, as well as programs in community outreach and education;
- Clinical Cancer Centers conduct programs in clinical research, and may also have programs in other research areas;
- Cancer Centers (formerly called Basic Science Cancer Centers) focus on basic research or cancer control research, but do not have clinical oncology programs.
The Association of American Cancer Institutes is comprised of NCI-designated cancer centers and academic-based cancer research programs that receive NCI support, for a total of 83. AACI cancer centers serve regional communities across the nation and link them to the resources of the national cancer program.
Additional information is available from:
National Cancer Institute: Cancer Facts
Association of American Cancer Institutes